Evola on Democracy (or rather against it)
Classics of Political Incorrectness Dept. (17)
Lately I have been reading a book entitled Pagan Imperialism and Metaphysics of War, by Julius Evola, published by Wewelsburg Archives in 2018, and I must say it is a strange and interesting book. I have been unable to find the name of the book’s translator, perhaps because he was humbly avoiding notoriety, or more likely prudently avoiding it if he happened to be, say, working in a hellhole of ideological hysteria in academia somewhere. Or maybe the translator was not informed of the publication of this volume…I dunno.
The book is a combination of two books, as indicated by the title; and I am still slowly working my way through the first part, the second, revised version of Pagan Imperialism, printed in pre-Nazi Germany in the early 1930s. In it Evola advocates his own unique brand of extreme rightist politics (far more right wing, methinks, than the Parties led by Mussolini and Hitler), a kind of fascistic feudalism led by a kind of deified God-Emperor. The third chapter of this is entitled “The Democratic Error” and contains some sophisticated (or just sophistic) arguments against the viability or wisdom of democracy. The long excerpt which follows is a subsection of that chapter entitled “The Impossibility of Democratic Self-Government.”
Evola wanted to replace democracy, along with socialism, liberalism, and even scientific materialism—all of which he considered to be feminine, “telluric,” and Semitic in their egalitarianism—with masculine, “solar,” and Aryan fascism of course, even a kind of mystical fascism, with the deific God-Emperor (or cakravartin, using Indian jargon, and Evola does use it throughout his writings) not only decreeing the Law but being the Law, and himself being the only human who is totally free, and also serving (if we can even use such a word for his actions) as the coordinating soul of his people, the nation emphatically NOT being egalitarian, but being stratified and specialized based on quality, divided into classes or even hereditary castes, and with all participants cooperating willingly as the specialized cells or parts in a single body, not as a mere collection of “equal” and interchangeable individuals.
I plan to write a more elaborate critique on this curious and strange book later, Pagan Imperialism, I mean, so I leave the rest to Evola himself, and to his anonymous translator. But before I go I would like to advise my more squeamish readers that I personally am not a fascist, that I consider Evola’s ideas to be rather idealistic and naive in certain ways, and thus not entirely realistic, and that I post this mainly as a way of keeping the Overton window as open as possible, and to counterbalance the miasmic sea of feminized leftism that is flooding western society lately.
The Impossibility of Democratic Self-Government
Let us return to liberalism.
We pointed out the compromise that controls it in its pretension to assert the ‘immortal principle’ of freedom from the individual to society, alongside ‘freedom’ another ‘immortal principle’ is asserted, that of equality. How can anyone fail to notice that if there is equality there cannot be freedom? That the levelling of possibilities, the identity of duties and rights, and the despotism of one law based exclusively on quantity, make freedom impossible? We repeat: there is true freedom only in hierarchy, difference, and the irreducibility of individual possibilities, on the basis of an ideal of articulation, and therefore of inequality, whose most perfect model is the ancient system of castes—but, apart from this, there is true freedom only when the meaning of loyalty, heroism, and sacrifice can sweep away the petty values of material, economic, and political life.
But let us go beyond this into an analysis of the nature of the superficiality and absurdity characteristic of the anti-imperial standpoint.
Democracy, it is said, is the self-government of the people. The sovereign will is that of the majority, which they express freely through the vote, in the symbol of representatives, who must yield to the common interest.
However, no matter how much they insist upon ‘self-government’, a distinction will always arise between the governors and the governed, insofar as a civic organisation is not yet constituted if the will of the majority is not concretised in individual personalities to whom the government is entrusted. These persons obviously will not be chosen at random: they will be those in whom the people believe they recognise greater capacities, and therefore, for better or worse, superiority over everyone else, so that they will not be considered as simple spokesmen, but one will suppose a principle of autonomy and legislative initiative in them.
Thus an anti-democratic factor appears in the bosom of democratism, which it vainly seeks to suppress by the principles of election and popular sanction. We say ‘vainly’, because the superiority of superior men is expressed, among other things, in the fact that they are capable of discerning what truly is of value, and of arranging the various values hierarchically, that is, as subordinating or superordinating them in relation to each other. Now, the stated democratic principles completely overturn the thing, insofar as they restore the judgement (in respect to election as well as sanction) of the highest value to the mass to decide, that is to say, to the body of those who, by hypothesis, are the least capable of judging, and whose judgement is restricted by necessity to the lower values of the most immediate life. Therefore, in the democratic regime, one can remain certain that those who are able to point out the best futures (even if chimerical), for the purpose of practical utility, will have a disastrous preeminence over the others. In such an error—similar to that of someone who, after having conceded that the blind should be guided by those who see, demands that the blind decide who can see and who cannot—there is found the main cause of the modern degradation of political reality into a purely empirical, utilitarian, and material reality.
It is true that there still remains one possible objection: that the material welfare controllable by the people could be a propitiatory partner in the development of a higher order. But this thesis is doubtful. The fact is that higher values and regenerating forces have arisen from moments of social crisis, whereas the ‘geese of Capua’, the periods of economic prosperity have led to stagnation and torpor in the life of the spirit. This is a reflection of what happens in the life of individuals, in which certain values arise from the ground of suffering, renunciation, and injustice, and in which a certain degree of tension, of ‘living dangerously’ from every point of view, is the best leaven to awaken the meaning of the relevance of spirit. But, without wanting to insist on this, we limit ourselves to asking: by what criteria should the masses be expected to recognise those who must direct them because they are capable of also caring much about superior values, although based on material values.
The truth is that democratisation depends upon an optimistic but totally gratuitous presupposition. It does not at all take into account the absolutely irrational character of the psychology of the masses. As we have already indicated above, in our discussion of ‘power ideas’, the mass is influenced not by reason, but by enthusiasm, emotion, and suggestion. Like a little girl, it follows anyone who best knows how to fascinate it, by scaring it, or alluring it, using means which are void of logic. Like a woman, it is inconsistent, and passes from one thing to the next, without such a transition explicable by a rational law or progressive process. Particularly, that idea of ‘progress’, referring not to the simple realisation that things become better or worse from the material point of view, but referring instead to the transition from a material standard to a higher standard, is a Western superstition which has arisen from the Jacobin ideology, against which we can never react energetically enough. Instead, to the extent it is possible to speak of self-government of the masses, and to the extent that the right of election and sanction can be left to the general public, then all that may or may not be true; instead, the ‘people’ can be considered as a single intelligence, as a single great being, living a single, actual, conscious and rational life. But this is a pure optimistic myth, which no social or historical consideration confirms, and which was invented only by a race of servants, impatient with true leaders, who sought a mask for their anarchic pretension to be able to do everything by themselves and for their rebellious will.
Thus this optimism, presupposed by democratism, is also, and eminently, presupposed by anarchist doctrines. And, brought to a rationalised and theologised form, it reappears again at the basis of historical currents and the theory of the ‘Absolute State’.